8 considerations for social networks in classrooms

6.  Does the inclusion of SNSs in the classroom setting encourage increased formation of within-class cliques?  An instructor will want to examine whether these social divisions have a positive or a negative influence on the expected outcomes of the course?

7.  What are your views as an instructor on using SNSs classroom settings? Instructors will want to be aware of how their views influence their use of SNSs with their students?

8.  What are the implications of the above questions for educational leaders as they craft and write new and innovative programs, including blended and flipped classroom approaches?

Choosing the technological tools allowed in the classroom is not a decision to be taken lightly. As educators promote practices intended to close the digital divide that exists for many students, we must be careful that we aren’t unintentionally exacerbating that divide by incorporating practices that create additional inequities in the process. Making the right choices is what every student deserves from our educational leaders in policy and practice.

Keith E. Howard, PhD, is an assistant professor of secondary education at Chapman University. His research interests include technology infusion in K-12 and teacher education, equity in STEM related course-taking opportunities, and national longitudinal database analyses.

Nicol R. Howard is currently an adjunct professor and doctoral student at Chapman University. Her research interests include the use of social media and technology in schools, academic motivation and equity issues for underrepresented students, and educational experiences of female secondary students in STEM fields.